By Charles Sercombe
Yes, that is, there will be a Hamtramck Labor Day Festival this year, just in case you were wondering.
And it appears a lot of people have been asking if there is going to be a festival this year. Questions about the festival arose several weeks ago when word got out that the city administration was under a spending freeze.
That meant organizers were going to be required to produce up-front money to cover overtime police costs and any other incidental costs to the city. The hold-up was figuring out what exactly were those costs.
Festival co-organizer Konrad Maziarz told The Review a week ago that everything was covered, and the festival was moving forward.
But then the next thing that cropped up was the question of who was going to cover the city’s costs for helping set up the Polish Day Parade, which is held on Labor Day during the festival.
That’s been taken care of as well, with the parade committee providing street barricades to block off side streets, and the Hamtramck Police Reserves are apparently donating their services.
This year the festival runs Aug. 31-Sept. 2, and as usual there will be plenty of food vendors, beer, and drinks.
Oh yeah, lots of bands as well. Following a long-established tradition, Hamtramck’s favorite party band, Polish Muslims, will play their usual Sunday slot at about 7 p.m.
The rowdy “canoe” races will also take place before the parade on Monday, at about noon, on Jos. Campau closer to Holbrook.
The parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m.
We recently asked the festival public relations contact, Ana Cukovic, for an update, and here’s what she had to say:
“I have received news on the bands that will be gracing our stages this year: Festival favorites will return this year including Kresge Fellow Mike Hurtt’s Haunted Hearts, hailing from New Orleans, and The Polish Muslims. As well as a solo performance by Joe Mazzola (of the Detroit Cobras and the Sugarcoats), and appearances by new groups to the festival like Radio Burns, a high school-aged ILL Itches, Jeecy and the Jungle and other promising young acts.
“We will also have craft beer from the following breweries: Motor City Brewing Works, Griffin Claw Brewing Company (GCBC), Saugatuck Brewing Company, Cheboygan Brewing Company
“Hatch is helping with the festival and they will have a tent for arts and exhibits.
“Boat Races are on Labor Day around noon. If any bars want to participate and build a canoe, they can contact me and I will direct them to the appropriate person.
“We also still have available spaces for vendors and we also need volunteers.
“Please ‘like’ us on Facebook and check it out for any updates on the events, as we are still developing the program.
“We have Hamtramck Labor Day T-shirts available for $15 at the following bars: Polish Sea League, Whiskey in the Jar, Kelly’s, The New Dodge Lounge, Tight Fittin’ Jean’s Bar. More locations to be announced.”
Anyone who wants to volunteer or become a vendor, contact Cukovic via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.